Seven springtime tips for people with asthma

Fresh breezes, sunny spells, April showers and springtime blossom can be a problematic time of year for people with asthma.

Sudden changes in the weather can make asthmatic symptoms worse but NHS Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has seven tips that help lessen the symptoms and reduce the risk of attacks.

Why buying your own simple painkillers could be a tonic for your local NHS

Prescriptions for paracetamol and other basic over-the-counter medicines are swallowing up NHS money which could be better spent on other healthcare services.

Simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be bought for pennies from pharmacies and supermarkets. But they cost the NHS more than six times as much when they are provided on prescription.

That is the message from healthcare commissioners Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Thurrock CCG who are running an ongoing joint campaign to tackle medicines waste. Download the campaign poster here

The CCGs are asking patients to purchase basic medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen themselves instead of asking GPs for a prescription. GPs in south west Essex currently write about 110,000 prescriptions a year for readily available painkillers at a potential cost of £3.75million to both organisations.

ACT F.A.S.T. if you spot the symptoms of a stroke

People in Basildon and Brentwood are being reminded to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the symptoms of a stroke in themselves or others.

Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the Act F.A.S.T. campaign which highlights the common symptoms of stroke and mini strokes.

A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.